Indian Express

Jump so far, from 58 to 66%

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Villagers on the way to a polling booth at Thakurain Khera in Rae Bareli.Ravi Kanojia Female voters have outnumbered their male counterparts in as many as 10 states and union territories. (Photo: Ravi Kanojia)

By end of Wednesday evening, when polling ended in 89 constituencies, as many as 44.28 crores voters out of 81.45 crores had voted in 438 Lok Sabha seats. The remaining 105 constituencies go to polls on May 7 and 12.

“The overall voter turnout for this Lok Sabha election now stands at 66.20 per cent, significantly higher than the 57.61 per cent turnout in these seats in the 2009 general elections,” according to Election Commission Director General, Akshay Rout.

Rout added that of the 28 states and union territories where polls have been completed so far, as many as 26 have recorded a higher voter turnout than last elections. “In 14 of these 28 states and UTs, the voter turnout has been the highest ever,” he said.

Significantly, female voters have outnumbered their male counterparts in as many as 10 states and union territories. “In Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, Odisha, Manipur, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, more women have voted than men,” Rout said.

Punjab witnessed a 73 per cent voter turnout Wednesday—its highest ever. While polling was largely incident-free, an incident of snatching EVMs and damage to other equipment was reported from Patiala Rural.

In a much improved performance, Uttar Pradesh saw 57.10 per cent voting in the 14 seats it voted for, up from 47.99 per cent last time. Rae Bareli saw 51.85 per cent voters turning up to vote while Lucknow witnessed 55.22 per cent voting.

Against an abysmal 47.89 per cent polling in 2009, Gujarat recorded a healthy 62 per cent polling till late evening. EC officials said this was expected to touch the 63 per cent mark. “In fact, Gujarat’s highest ever turnout was 63.77 per cent in 1967. They could better it this time,” an EC official said. Nine instances of poll boycott were reported from Gujarat.

They were mainly to register protest against issues relating to water, river-interlinking and road-construction. While Gandhinagar witnessed 62 per cent voting, Ahmedabad saw 62.30 per cent voters turning up to vote. Vadodara saw a high 70 per cent voting while Surat witnessed 61.50 per cent polling.

Andhra Pradesh, which voted for 17 seats, saw an impressive 70 per cent turnout, marginally higher than last time.

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